Food and Feeding Habits of Longnose Gar in Central Missouri

Food habits, feeding habits, and relative vulnerability of various prey species to predation by young longnose gar were studied as part of a general life history research project. Stomach analysis of yearling and older gar revealed a predominant fish diet with gizzard shad the most common species found. Seventy-six per cent of the stomachs of these gar were empty. Regurgitation is probably the major cause of the high percentage of empty stomachs of gar caught in gill nets. The stomachs of young-of-the-year longnose gar contained almost entirely fish, with various minnows the most common items. Feeding habits of the young gar are described. An experiment concerning the relative vulnerability of prey to predation revealed wide differences in the ability of various species to avoid capture by the gar.

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